Amarillo, TX - As the Duke City traveled to Amarillo on Saturday night, it’s only fitting the game turned into an old-fashioned western shootout.
With both offenses firing on all cylinders, every defensive stop made the difference. But when it came down to it, the Amarillo Venom (6-3 CIF) outlasted the Duke City Gladiators (3-3 CIF) in an 89-86 four-overtime clash at the Amarillo Civic Center.
It was a back-and-forth affair for most of the game as neither team led by more than a touchdown. Coupled by trio of field goal misses from Amarillo’s Jacob Fetzon, Duke City extended their lead to as much as 60-49 with 11:34 remaining in the fourth quarter.
But the Venom went on a 14-3 run to end the quarter, which sent the game to overtime. Similar to college football overtime rules, each team has possession starting at the 25-yard line and lasts until one team outscores another at the end of overtime.
Gladiators’ quarterback Kasey Peters, wide receiver Dexter Manley, and running back Seth Smith each scored their own touchdowns in extra time. But similar to regulation, the Venom answered back to the Gladiator’s scores.
The wild, wild West matchup was finally decided in the fourth overtime. After various Duke City penalties, the Gladiators only managed a 35-yard field from Ezequiel Arevalo. Soon after, Venom running back Wyreaz Bradley scored on the game-winning touchdown run.
“The loss was frustrating because we had the game won four different times,” head coach Dominic Bramante said. “We just couldn’t seal the deal.”
The Gladiators logged 521 total yards, compared to 477 total yards for the Venom.
Peters finished with 31-45 passing, 390 yards, and eight touchdowns. Manley added 12 receptions, 126 yards, and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Roland Bruno ended with 11 receptions, 122 yards, and two touchdowns.
“I am proud of our offense. They did what they had to do and played a heck of game. I feel the chemistry has improved,” Bramante said.
With three games remaining, Duke City still has an opportunity to snatch one of the four playoff spots up for grabs.
On May 25, the Gladiators will travel to Foster Coliseum to battle the San Angelo Bandits (1-8 CIF). Fortunately for Duke City, they are 2-0 versus San Angelo this season.
“We just need to keep doing what we are doing and ride out these next two games,” Bramante said. “ We are knocking on the playoff door and I think that’s motivation enough.”